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PACS Real-Time Test Bench
PACS Spacecraft


The objective of the PACS real-time test bench is to perform real-time closed-loop performance tests of a global guidance algorithm for fine pointing of an agile spacecraft attitude control and measurement system (ACMS). For that purpose, a dynamic Real-Time Test Bench (RTTB) has been developed by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR). This facility uses to a maximum extent auto-coded software components from Matlab/Simulink sources, for both on-board software and real-time simulation.


The PACS study has been conducted by Alcatel Space Industries (France) as prime contractor. It constitutes a major milestone for the ACMS development of the future high-resolution earth observation Satellites that require both a high agility of the line-of-sight and a very fine pointing and stability. It offers the opportunity to implement, test and validate a complete ACMS based on Control Momentum Gyros (CMG).

The development of the ACMS simulation, on-board software, and RTTB resulted in the successful achievement of a test bench, operating with hardware-in-the-loop at a closed-loop frequency of 96Hz. Other achievements:
  • proven Matlab RTW autocoding for smooth development of OBASW and RTS;
  • relatively easy development of a HIL RTTB using EuroSim;
  • functional RTTB ready for testing CMG-in-the-loop on top of a 3-axes rotation table to account for gyroscopic effects due to the (satellite) motion;
PACS System Overview

Role of EuroSim

The Real-Time Simulator, part of the RTTB, is based on EuroSim and contains simulation models, previously created in Simulink/Stateflow and converted to C-code with the tool Real Time Workshop (RTW).

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